create widget stacks iPhone Home screen - hero image

iOS 14 enables the user to create stacks of up to ten widgets each so that multiple widgets don’t take over the Home screen. Follow along with our tutorial for step-by-step instructions on creating widget stacks on your iPhone, including how to add or remove widgets from your stack, adjust settings for a stack’s widgets, use the Smart Rotation option and more.

Meet your redesigned Home screen widgets

The overhauled widgets in iOS and iPadOS 14 bring you glanceable snippets of information every time you land on the Home screen. Widgets come in three sizes — small, medium and large — so so you can pick the information density that’s right for you.

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Apple’s created redesigned widgets for stock apps like Weather, Clock, Calendar, News, Notes, Maps, Fitness, Photos, Reminders, Stocks, Music, Podcasts, Tips, Batteries, Screen Time, Files and more. And developers can add custom widgets to their own apps with Apple’s APIs.

create widget stacks iPhone Home screen - Redesigned widgets on iOS 14

Home screen widget stacks on the iPhone with iOS 14

Apple publicly preview the redesigned widgets in iOS and iPadOS 14 during its June 22 WWDC 2020 keynote presentation. The Cupertino company is currently testing the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 software updates before their release to the general public some time in the fall.

Home screen widgets in iPadOS 14

iOS has offered widgets for quite some time now, but they used to be limited to the Today view which is revealed by swiping right on the Home screen. As mentioned earlier, the iOS 14 update allows you to actually put those widgets anywhere on any of the Home screens on your iPhone.

create widget stacks iPhone Home screen - Today view on iPad pinned to the Home screen

iPadOS 14 doesn’t support widget stacks

On your iPad, the Today view that houses your favorite widgets can still be pinned to the first Home screen just like before. However, iPadOS 14 won’t let you place these redesigned widgets anywhere on the Home screen like you can do with widgets on your iPhone in iOS 14. Not only that, but you also cannot create Home screen widget stacks on your iPad in iPadOS 14.

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Follow along with us to learn how to create widget stacks on your iPhone and make the most of the limited space on the Home screen of your iPhone.

How to create a widget stack

Follow the steps below if you’d like to create a widget stack on your iPhone:

  1. Long-tap an empty area on the Home screen to enter jiggle mode or tap an app icon on the Home screen and select the option Edit Home Screen from the contextual menu.
  2. While in jiggle mode, hit the plus (+) button in the top-left corner to enter the widget gallery, which is the central place for all your widgets from Apple and third parties.
  3. Tap a widget you’d like to add to the Home screen.
  4. Swipe left or right to choose your widget size, then tap Add Widget to add your widget in the selected size to the Home screen.
  5. Hit the plus (+) button in the top-left corner to revisit the widget gallery, then pick another widget to create a stack: like in the previous step, swipe left or right to choose the same size as the first widget, then hit Add Widget to add that widget to the Home screen.
  6. You now have two widgets of the same size on your Home screen. Now simply drag one widget on top of another to instantly create a widget stack.

Note that you can create a stack of up to ten widgets.

create widget stacks iPhone Home screen - creating a widget stack

Dragging the Photos widget on top of the Weather widget

You can even add the same widget multiple times to a stack. For instance, I have a stack comprised of multiple Weather widgets for different cities. I can simply swipe through the Weather widgets in my stack to quickly get weather forecast for the top cities that interest me.

You can create as many widget stacks as the available space on your Home screens allows. What you cannot do is stack differently sized widgets. For instance, you cannot have two medium and one large widget in the same stack, or five small and one large widget and so forth.

Interacting with your widget stacks

You can cycle through a stack’s widgets by swiping through them vertically. The number of widgets in a stack is indicated by the vertical dots alongside the widget, similar to the dots at the bottom of the Home screen that denote the number of app pages you have. These vertical dots appear when you’re swiping through widgets in your stack and disappear automatically.

Swiping through widgets in a stack

Swiping through widgets in a stack

How to delete a widget stack

You can quickly remove a stack along with all of its widgets from your Home screen:

  1. Long-tap the widget stack you want to delete, then tap Remove Stack in the popup menu.
  2. Tap Remove to confirm the operation.

The selected widget stack will be instantly removed from your Home screen, creating space for additional icons or new widgets. Deleting a widget from the stack (or the whole widget stack for that matter) doesn’t actually wipe clean the widgets from your device. To permanently delete any widgets you no longer need, you’ll need to uninstall their apps app from the device.

Removing my widget stack from the Home screen

How to edit a widget stack

Follow the instructions ahead for guidance on adding or removing a stack’s widgets, adjusting settings for a widget, changing widgets’ order of appearance and more.

How to reorder widgets in a stack

  1. Long-tap the widget stack you want to edit and choose Edit Stack from the popup menu.
  2. To reorder the widgets in your stack, drag the hamburger icon next to a widget up or down.
  3. Tap the “X” symbol  near the top-right corner to finish editing the widget stack.

Your widget stack should be instantly updated with the new order of appearance.

create widget stacks iPhone Home screen - reordering widgets

Changing the order of widgets in a stack

How to delete a widget from the stack

To delete a widget from your stack, follow the steps below:

  1. Long-tap the widget stack you’d like to edit and choose Edit Stack from the popup menu.
  2. Swipe left across the widget you’d like to remove and tap the hidden Delete option.
  3. Repeat the previous step for all the other widgets you’d like to delete from the stack or tap the “X”near the top-right corner to finish making changes to your stack.

The selected widget will be instantly removed from your stack.

Removing a widget from the stack

The fastest way to remove a widget from your stack

You can also delete a widget from the stack by swiping up and down on the stack until you get to the widget you’d like to remove, then tap and hold the stack and select the option Remove “Widget Name”, then tap Remove in the popup menu to confirm the action.

How to adjust options for specific widgets in a stack

Some widgets have user-facing settings. Like the Weather widget, which lets you pick a city. Similarly, the Stocks widgets lets you choose any ticker symbol to keep an eye on.

  1. Swipe up or down on a stack to find the widget whose settings you want to customize.
  2. Long-tap the widget, then choose Edit “WIDGET NAME” from the contextual menu.
  3. Use the available settings to customize the widget to your liking, then tap outside the widget to finish making changes.

It may take a few minutes before the widget updates with your selection.

create widget stacks iPhone Home screen - adjusting widget options

Changing forecast location in the Weather widget

As mentioned, some widgets offer certain customization options while others do not, and that choice is entirely in the hands of a widget developer.

How to stop widget rotation

When you create a stack, your iPhone by default periodically rotates its widgets based on how and when you use apps on your device, as determined by Siri’s on-device intelligence.

Follow the steps right ahead to stop widget rotation:

  1. Long-tap the widget stack you’d like to edit and choose Edit Stack from the popup menu.
  2. Disable the option Smart Rotate near the top of the screen.
  3. Tap “X” to finish making changes top your widget stack.

Your iPhone shall no longer switch widgets in this stack periodically.

create widget stacks iPhone Home screen - Smart Rotate disabled

Disabling this stops automatic widget rotation

For instance, if you keep several widgets in a stack, such as Photos, Stocks, Notes, Weather and News, you may be greeted with the News widgets when you wake up provided you usually read your news in the morning. Then as you go about your day, the proactive Siri assistant may choose to surface the Photos widget to the top, showing you a featured photo before switching to the Stocks widget around lunch time if that’s when you usually do your trading on the stock market.

And that’s all you need to know about widget stacks in iOS 14.

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